Sometimes a math program comes along that exceeds every expectation you have for it. When that program also costs less than $30 and is reusable for all of your children, you know you have struck gold. Math Essentials Non-Nonsense Algebra is one such program. Math Essentials consists of a softcover textbook that devotes two pages to each lesson, the first the lesson itself and the second practice exercises.
While the instructional portion of the book is very well-written and clear, it is the online video instruction that is the star of this show. A purchase of the book for $27.95 includes complete access to the online instructional videos (the code is in the back of the book). The videos are presented white-board style by the author of the program, Richard W. Fisher, known as America's Math Teacher. Mr. Fisher's teaching style is so easy to listen to and understand that all students should enjoy learning from him. My daughter has used several online math programs, and she has never had a white-board instructor whose voice or manner she liked. In fact, doing math became an issue for this precise reason. After listening to Mr. Fisher for only five minutes, she turned to me and said, "I like him!" I like him, too.
No-Nonsense Algebra covers the following topics:
It is complete with chapter reviews and a final exam. Solutions are in the back of the book.
Any math program's intended age range is completely subjective, but almost all students take Algebra in either 8th or 9th grade, making them around 14 or so. My daughter began this course at the age of 10, but she has been years ahead in math for, well, years! The key point is that this math program is age-flexible. It was just as workable for a younger student as for a typically-aged Algebra student. In fact, my next child will be 10 when he tackles Algebra, and this will be the program we use. The one-time purchase of the book allows a whole family access to the videos.
No-Nonsense Algebra has proved an excellent fit for our family. Mr. Fisher states that test scores will be improved with only 20 minutes' use per day. The short amount of time per day has been perfect for my math-averse, but math-gifted, daughter,and I can tell it will also work very well for my math-gifted ADHD son.
In addition to No-Nonsense Algebra, we also got to review one of Math Essentials' topic-specific workbooks. Available for decimals and percents, fractions, geometry, pre-algebra, problem solving, and whole numbers and integers, these $11.95 workbooks maintain the same 20 minute per day format as No-Nonsense Algebra, but focus intensively on single topics. For kids who have trouble with the whole fractions/decimals/percents concept, these workbooks would be a lifesaver!
The most impressive thing about Math Essentials, though, has to be this unheard-of guarantee:
You truly have nothing to lose.
Math Essentials has found a permanent place in our home. For $27.95, you just can't beat this program, even if you only use it as a supplement (so far we have not found it necessary to use it alongside anything else, though). Check out what other Crewbies had to say!
Disclaimer: I received Math Essentials No-Nonsense Algebra free in exchange for my review. The only compensation I received was the benefit we have derived from this awesome program.